Updated: Monday, 16 December 2013 04:43 | By Agence France-Presse

France's Hollande won't attend Sochi Games opening

French President Francois Hollande will not attend the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics, and nor will any top officials, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Sunday.


France's Hollande won't attend Sochi Games opening

French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech upon arrival at the Felix Eboue airport in Cayenne, on December 13, 2013

"There are no plans to go," he said in an interview on Europe 1 radio.

"I wish these Games a lot of success. But there are no plans for top French officials to go," he said, without providing any reasons.

Fabius was responding to a question on whether he or Hollande would attend, after German President Joachim Gauck announced he would not go to the February 7-23 event.

Gauck has rejected media reports he is boycotting Russia over its rights record.

The country has been criticised by several rights groups for the way workers recruited to build the sporting venues in Sochi have been treated, as well as its anti-gay legislation.

It has faced a widespread Internet campaign and calls from celebrities and gay rights groups for protests at Sochi over its law banning "gay propaganda".

And last week, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding tweeted on her official account that she would "certainly not go to Sochi as long as minorities are treated the way they are under the current Russian legislation."

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